When in doubt, put sauce on it. That's my motto when I don't know how to dress up a protein. I'll roast a chicken and decide it's too plain and end up foraging my fridge for a finishing sauce. Fortunately, it always transforms a boring dinner into an exciting one. Taking that idea, I decided to pair sesame crusted salmon with green curry sauce. The creamy coconut sauce with a hint of lime perfectly matches the crusted fish. Finish the meal with fresh herbs and you'll end up with a restaurant-style meal!
Sesame Crusted Salmon with Green Curry
Sesame crusted salmon
- 1 lb salmon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
Green curry sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots minced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 Thai chile minced (optional)
- 1 stalk lemongrass bruised
- 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- fresh basil for garnish
- lime wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare salmon. Season fish with salt and pepper. Combine honey, lime juice, olive oil, and Chinese hot mustard in a small bowl. Pour marinade over the salmon and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Combine white and black sesame seeds with coconut flakes. Sprinkle mixture on top of the salmon. Lay salmon on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
- Meanwhile, make green curry sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, Thai chile if using, and lemongrass. Saute the aromatics until softened, about 2 minutes. Add green curry paste, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, stirring to combine. Saute for 1 more minute.
- Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Season sauce with brown sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice and simmer for 1 more minute.
- Ladle green curry sauce on the bottom on a serving plate. Lay salmon on top and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I personally love adding a crust to fish because it adds texture. Take this sesame crusted salmon with green curry for example. Salmon is a fatty fish and has a rich, buttery texture. Add a sesame coconut topping and suddenly you have a little crunch with every bite. It's quite lovely if I do say so myself.
To prepare the salmon, marinate it in a Chinese honey mustard sauce for 10 minutes. Chinese hot mustard is essentially spicy mustard. If you have trouble sourcing the ingredient, use dijon mustard instead.
Then, combine black sesame seeds with white sesame seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes and sprinkle them on top of the salmon. If you can't find black sesame seeds, substitute them with an equal amount of white sesame seeds.
Bake the salmon in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily. You can also pan-fry the fish but I think it's easiest to just pop it in the oven.
While the fish is cooking, prepare the green curry sauce. Saute the aromatics including the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and Thai chile. Feel free to omit the Thai chile if you want a mild sauce.
Add the green curry paste and spices and stir to combine. I thought about making green curry paste from scratch but honestly, the storebought ones are great already.
Add coconut milk and bring the sauce to a simmer. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk for a richer, thicker sauce. If you use low-fat coconut milk, the sauce will have a thinner consistency.
Finish the green curry by seasoning it with fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. If you dislike fish sauce, you can use soy sauce instead. However, it won't taste exactly the same.
Pour the green curry sauce on a serving platter and arrange the sesame coconut crusted salmon on top. Garnish the dish with fresh basil and serve with extra lime wedges on the side.
I absolutely loved the variety of textures and flavor in this sesame crusted salmon with green curry sauce. The sauce itself is creamy and bursting with so much flavor. The spice and hint of lime play well with the buttery salmon and the pop of sesame doesn't hurt either. Say goodbye to boring salmon!
For more salmon inspiration check out this miso salmon with ikura and mushroom rice!